Cleveland Mayor Speaks On Tamir Rice Settlement

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After the city of Cleveland agreed this morning to a $6 million settlement in a lawsuit over the death of a 12-year-old who was shot dead by a police officer, the city’s mayor said, “While we have settled the legal side of this … there is no price that you can put on the … loss of a 12-year-old child.”

The $6 million amount for the suit over 12-year-old Tamir Rice’s death was decided after “negotiations for some time,” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said during a news conference this afternoon.

He said the amount will be paid as $3 million a year for two years. There was no admission of wrongdoing in the settlement.

Tamir was holding a toy gun when he was shot by officer Timothy Loehmann at a Cleveland playground in November 2014.

“Regardless of fault or facts … it should not have happened,” the mayor said today.

“This is not easy for me personally or the city in general,” Jackson said. “And I can’t speak to how difficult it must have been for the family of Tamir Rice.”

“It’s hard for me to imagine,” he said.

 A grand jury last year declined to indict Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, in the shooting.

The wrongful death suit was filed by Tamir’s family and estate against the city and officers and dispatchers who were involved. The officers had asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

Rice family attorneys said in a statement this morning, “Although historic in financial terms, no amount of money can adequately compensate for the loss of a life.”

“In a situation such as this, there is no such thing as closure or justice,” they said in the statement. “Nothing will bring Tamir back. His unnecessary and premature death leaves a gaping hole for those who knew and loved him that can never be filled.”

“Regrettably, Tamir’s death is not an isolated event,” they added. “The problem of police violence, especially in communities of color, is a crisis plaguing our nation. It is the sincere hope of the Rice family that Tamir’s death will stimulate a movement for genuine change in our society and our nation’s policing so that no family ever has to suffer a tragedy such as this again.”

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